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there was earlier in the day. mitch mcconnell and harry reid say they're going to come out and try to hammer out a bipartisan deal that can pass the senate with enough republican votes to convince the house to act and even president obama who had been concerned that they were not going to act and challenging them for an up and down vote said he was optimistic. here's the president after that meeting. >> i just had a good and constructive discussion at the white house with senate and house leadership about how to prevent this tax hike on the middle class and i'm optimistic we may still be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses in time. >> now what would be in that mini deal? we're talking about tax increases for people at near the top of the income scale. the question is the threshold, 400 or $500,000 are the likely places that that could end up. it would likely turn off the automatic sequester by using some of the revenue from the tax increases to account as budget cuts and turn off they is quester and it would also extend unemployment benefits and do the so-called doc fix to preve
majority leader harry reid quickly moved the measure to a vote. minority leader mch mcconnell assured that no republicans block the bill. house speaker john boehner agreed to bring the bill to a vote on the house floor. and leader nancy pelosi with the number of votes needed to pass. >> what folks are looking for and all of us agree on this is action. they want to see that we are focused on them, not focused on our politics here in washington. >> reporter: that was the last time this group met more than a month ago. with time running out to forge a scaled-down compromise, can they agree on even the most basic elements, extending some income tax cuts, preventing pay cuts to medicare providers, fixing the alternative minimum tax. among the options to gain votes, averting an estate tax hike toll woo republicans. there's still time but no room for error. if congress doesn't act -- >> the impact psychologically and financially on americans of another plunge in the negative territory for the economy would be extremely harmful. >> reporter: and candy, as i said, those leaders are still meeti
that will pass both houses in time. senators reid and mcchon nell are work -- mcconnell are working on such an agreement as we speak. but if an agreement isn't reached in time between senator reid and senator mcconnell, then i will urge senator reid to bring to the floor a blase sick package for an up or down vote, one that protects the middle class from an income tax high, extends the vital lifeline of pun insured been fits and a plan for an economic growth and deficit reduction. >> that was president obama talking with four days left in that fiscal cliff deadline saying he's hoping congress will reach a deal on this. if not, he's asking them to bring a package to the floor that will protect middle class mrns. >>> coming up all brand-new at 6:00, american families are now banned from adopting russian children. we'll hear from one local family who calls it a death sentence for thousands of small children. >> before you get to work on your next home repair project, we're warning you about the dangers of trying to do it yourself. now a preview of what's ahead on world news at 6:30. >>
departure, the president called all four congressional leaders, reid, mcconnell, boehner and pelosi. now fiery words after reid hit boehner with volley after volley from the senate floor earlier today. >> if we go over the cliff and it looks like that's where we're headed, mr. president, the house of representatives as we speak with four days after today aren't here with the speaker having told them they'll have 48-hours notice. i can't imagine their conscie e consciences. >> speaker boehner's office responding with a terse statement saying in part, quote, senator reid should talk less and legislate more. the house already passed legislation to avoid the entire fiscal cliff. senate democrats have not. joining me now from d.c. nbc news white house correspondent peter alexander. peter, there was word the last hour that the president may have sent some sort of deal. the white house then turning around saying that's not true at all. where was the confusion? >> reporter: well, you hear the frosty statements back and forth as you just indicated there, craig. ah, the holidays in washington. a
. >> shortly after mcconnell made those statements, he said whatever we come up with is going to be imperfect. some people aren't going to like it. some people will like it less. but that is where we are. run through timeline of events tonight. senate will be taking up the supplemental, controversial in and of itself. republicans don't like it because they want offsetting cuts. saturday the senate will take the day off to formulate some sort of deal. back in association on sunday is the house at house at 2:00 p.m. to consider the deal and avoid fiscal cliff. bring in panel. fred barnes, executive editor of stand stand. kirsten powers and sindcated columnist krauthammer. >> what do you make of this? >> moldestly optimistic. they work out a deal before. they did when the talks over the debt limit fell apart. they can do it again. they can raise the income level for having the taxes raised. president offered $400,000 rather than $250,000. $400,000. people over that pay more last week. got it to $500,000, i personally talked to members of congress conservative republicans who would go along with
majority leader mitch mcconnell said there is still time to work out a deal. however, there is no firm evidence of any real plan. here is what we do know tonight. president obama cutting his vacation short arriving back in washington today. house lawmakers announcing late today they are now planning to return on sunday. but listen to the rhetoric. and you have to question whether that will do any good because near early everything that is coming out of d.c. is about blame. not answers. >> speaker boehner should call members of the house back to washington today. he shouldn't have let them go in fact. they are not here. they are not here. john boehner seems to care more about keeping his speakership than about keeping the nation on firm financial footing. >> harris: a spokesman for john boehner fired back "senator reid should talk less and legislate more." and senate minority leader mcconnell saying we should have worked all this out months ago. >> and republicans aren't about to write a blank check or anything senate democrats put forward just because we find ourselves at the edge of t
leader mitch mcconnel are working on a deal. he meet with them along with house speaker john boehner and house democratic leader nancy pelosi.at the white house for about an hour today. he said the meeting was good and constructive. but expressed his frustration for the american people with waiting until stories... >> america wonders why you cannot get things done in this town in an organized timetable. why does everything have to wait until the last minute? now, we are at the last minute. the american people are not going to have many patients for a self-inflicted wound to our economy. >> reporter: coming up at 5:30 we'll have more from the president. and our political analyst michael yaki will give us his take on today's developments. >> catherine: there's rain on the way this holiday weekend. this is a live look from our camera on mount tam. and a look at downtown san francisco. i'm here in the weather center with jacqueline bennet -- where is the wet weather? >> jacqueline: we are still getting some return on the radar but it is still too dry for the rain to hit the ground. it wi
the cliff. it is really about senator harry reid and mitch mcconnell? >> to develop the political staring contest democrats say republicans need to move and around rego. the president arrived this morning from hawaii and so with the top democrats and republicans but still no update to report. senate majority leader harry reid said it looks like we're going over a cliff and it is up to the house. >> speaker boner shed call people back to washington today and should not have let them go. they are not here. john boner cared more about his speakership than the financial footing. >> they're now working on a fiscal clear solutions they say the majority leader should talk less and legislate more. also mitch mcconnell says the leader is happy to review with the president what he has in mind but that a majority has not put forward a plan. when they do members will review legislation to make decisions on how fast -- best to proceed. >> it takes time for the house and senate to get something done. if there is a solution agreed to buy political leaders it could take beyond the new year before it gets
mcconnell. senator reid says there is no time to reach a deal. mr. mcconnell says he is more optimistic. then from the republican controlled house of representatives, the top republican john boehner has rejected president obama's previous offers and the morse -- most senior democrat in the house, nancy pelosi. what is the cliff and can be avoided? >> the house of representatives will be going back into session sunday but at this point we do not know what kind of measure they have before them that they can consider for a vote. there has been no indication from the white house or the republican leadership that they are anywhere near any kind of makings of a deal that they could present to the house republican leadership -- or the house republican rank-and-file who so far have been adamantly opposed to tax increases at any level of income, which is an absolute prerequisite for president obama. if they do not come to some kind of agreement, but that tax to be voted on -- and there is doubt that it is logistically possible before new year's day -- then the most immediate impact would be the
more. mike, you just got new details 23r* mitch mcconnell. what are they? >> that's right. discussions have been taking place all day. both sides have been trading paper, ideas and that talks continue. we understand legislative staff will continue working into this evening. meanwhile, huer is a fair and balanced look at where things stand. >> i do think that something will happen over the next few days relative to the revenue piece. hopefully we can rescue most americans from a tax increase. but what we haven't dealt with again is the spending component. jay we just can't afford -- >> we just can't afford a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy. keeping it that way means folks you sent to washington have to do their jobs. the housing market is healing, but that could stall as folks are seeing smaller paychecks. >> with time running out, it sounds like conservatives may have to fight spending when raising the debt ceiling is the new fight in the new year. harris? >> mike, democrats say they know they need republican help to get this through. they are counting on a top republic
and spe speaker boehner had been discussing weeks ago and then senator mcconnell would agree that no republicans would block it in any way if he can promise that. he argues that he can't really make that promise but if e he could then speaker boehner would promise to bring it to a vote on the floor. all sides would shake hands and we'd have a deal before new year's. that seems highly unlikely. but that's what all sides are pushing for today. >> i think we can all agree that tax rates are the biggest sticking point. so what specific issues are your sources saying that they might actually address in this meeting today besides tax rates? could they talk about unemployment benefits, spending cuts, what's expected to come up today? >> this is the -- the specific details of the proposal could include in addition to tax rates, as you point out, an extension of unemployment benefits. the amt fix, the alternative minimum tax would be patched for another year. and medicare doctor payments, preventing pay cut s s to medic providers. and the question that republicans are asking is would
minority leader mitch mcconnell. harry reid and nancy pelosi were there. steve chenevey live on capitol hill right now. >> that meeting at the white house lasted just a little more than an hour. they started at 3:10 and were done by 4:15. no major decisions were made. president, reportedly telling congressional leadership, if you do not have a better plan than i do by now, we need to get to voting on my plan. the clock is still ticking in advance of monday night's deadline. frustration being felt not just inside the capitol, but i constituents outside as well. >> i am a little worried about the future as well, for my kids mostly. >> it is a popular thought outside the capital. >> there is an understandable frustration. >> chris van hull and is hopeful a deal can be reached by tuesday, although it will likely be a smaller deal that addresses only the major parts of the fiscal cliff from taking effect. >> we have got to get on a larger agreement, to make sure we sustained a very fragile economy, tried to get it to move faster, and deal with the long- term deficit. >> those decisions may n
mitch mcconnell, house speaker john boehner and house democratic leader nancy pelosi met at the white house yesterday afternoon with the president and vice president. here's where things stand right now. the senate leaders are meeting aiming to avoid tax hikes. and they may vote on a deal sunday or perhaps on monday. jessica yellin is our chief white house correspondent. lisa day jar dayne is on capitol hill. the president used his bully pulpit to reinforce the idea that senators need to get busy. so let's listen. >> the american people are watching what we do here. obviously, their patience is already thin. this is deja vu all over again. america wonders why it is that in this town for some reason, you can't get stuff done in an organized timetable, why everything always has to wait till the last minute. we're now at the last minute. and the american people are not going to have any patience for a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy. not right now. >> so jessica, you were in the room for the president's remarks. on a scale of 1 to 10, let's measure the anger perhaps that
. >> reporter: for the first time, republican leader mitch mcconnell described himself as hopeful and optimistic. >> we had a good meeting down at the white house. we are engaged in discussions, the majority leader and myself and the white house, in the hopes that we can come forward as early as sunday and have a recommendation that i can make to my conference, and the majority leader can make to his conference. >> reporter: the progress came as members on both sides were growing doubtful congress could get anything done before the deadline. nebraska democrat ben kesselon: >> if we don't have a deal within the next 24 hours, the question is, where do you buy a parachute? it looks like we'd be going over the cliff. >> reporter: but leader reid had this warning about the shape of a deal to come. >> everybody, whatever we come up with is going to be imperfect and some people aren't going to like it. some people will like it less, but that's where we are. >> reporter: up until now, reid and mcconnell have kind of been sitting on the sidelines as the president and speaker boehner tried but failed to
for very long, it seems. he left in the last hour. also, we were able to see some of senator mcconnell's staffers. i was able to speak to one of them coming in and out of these kind of closed-door planning meetings. he said they've been here since 9:00 a.m. they plan to work all day and we may see his boss, senator mcconnell, later today. that shows us kind of where things stand. i wanted to break this down simply because there's so much that complicates the story. let's look really quickly at a graphic of the basics, what's happening right now. here's where we stand with the fiscal cliff. first of all, who's doing the negotiating? ice the top two senators, senator reid for the democrats, senator mcconnell for the republican, and it is their staff who are working out details right now. what are they talking about? mainly trying to find a way to avoid those tax hikes for most americans. that could also include an extension of unemployment benefits. what is unclear is whether other things such as budget cuts eliminating that sequester that's coming up or other things will be in that deal
as senator reid and his opposite number, minority leader mitch mcconnell. but today, mcconnell gave no indication of movement. >> last night i told the president we'd be happy to look at whatever he proposes, but the truth is we're coming up against a hard deadline here, and as i said this is a conversation we should have had months ago. and republicans aren't about to write a blank check for anything senate democrats put forward just because we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff. >> reporter: adding to the urgency, treasury secretary timothy geithner warned he'll have to begin taking "extraordinary measures" to postpone a government default. the government is on track to hit its borrowing limit on monday, he said with no prospect of congressional action to raise the limit. here now to help us unravel what's going on is todd zwillich. he's washington correspondent for "the takeaway" on public radio international. todd, welcome back. decode this for us. are the players privately as bleak about the prospects as their public statement suggests? >> not as bleak, margaret, but bleak
, was senator mitch mcconnell and here we have the majority leader in the senate, harry reid. let's listen in for a second. >> the house has reported by the press and we all know, one of the plans didn't have a name, it wasn't plan b. i don't know which plan it was because they've had a number over there. but this plan was to show the american people that the $250,000 ceiling on raising taxes wouldn't pass in the house. why didn't they have that vote? because it would have passed. they wanted to kill it. the speaker wanted to show everybody that it wouldn't pass the house. but he couldn't bring it up for vote because it wouldn't pass. republicans -- a myriad of republicans think it's the fair thing to do and of course every democrat would vote for that. the republican leader finds himself frustrated that the president has called on him to help address the fiscal cliff. he's upset because, quote, the phone never rang. he complains that i have not passed the resolution to pass the fiscal cliff but he's in error. we all know that in july of this year we passed in the senate the relief that wo
few months, it has largely banned mitch mcconnell and harry reid who have trumped up something toward the end to avert shutdowns and the like. they together have averted a tax hike last december. it is an interesting fact that the senate, even though it is normally seen as the body that cannot get anything done, it has more bipartisanship right now, and there is more of an incentive for the senators to try to get something done. house members are more polarized. they are worried more about primaries than general elections. the best case scenario here is that the senate does craft a compromise that both parties can live with, and it is take it or leave it to the house right up until the deadline, and you figure enough democrats and republicans come together to send it across to the white house. >> stephen dennis, thank you so much for your time. >> absolutely. >> here are president obama's remarks from the white house earlier today. afterwards, we will hear from senators reid and mcconnell from the senate floor. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [captioning perfo
cliff deal. and is it mitch mcconnell to the rescue. live in washington on the 11th hour negotiations. >> and did you know about to fall off the dairy cliff? >> juliet: have you seen the prices? >> dave: as high as 8 bucks a gallon for milk. >> clayton: oak ridge boys bush. special number tribute for number 41. "fox & friends" begins right now. >> am i wrong about that don't the have a deep voice? ♪ >> oak ridge boys have been on this show many times on "fox & friends." >> good morning, everyone. >> dave: good morning. juliet huddy celebrating an early new year's eve. is it new year's eve? >> juliet: sparkly shoes and everything. i feel like we are waking up at 4:00 in the morning on saturday i better be festive. >> clayton: that's what woke me up this morning. >> juliet: this is a beautiful set it has inspired me. >> dave: it's spectacular. >> juliet: it is. >> dave: it's fiscal cliff time. couple of days away. rare i wake up and say i'm moderately optimistic but that's what the president said. you are either optimistic or you are not. the president said he is modestly optimistic a
. it is up to the senate to do something. you have senate minority leader mitch mcconnell, the republican saying it is up to the democrats to do something. we'll not do anything until president obama and the democrats come up with a plan and president obama actually late yesterday did call all four leaders, majority, minority leaders in the house and senate that includes mitch mcconnell and said the first time a democrat called him since thanksgiving to talk about this. so they're talking but there is no indication anybody is actually doing anything right now. gregg: what about harry reid? what's his, does he have anything at all maybe towards the end of the week he will put on the table? i've been hearing he will put to a vote an extension of the bush tax cuts for anybody making under $250,000 a year, extend unemployment benefits for some 2 million people that are about to lose them. what are you hearing? >> right. he sounded pretty pessimistic this morning but that could change and there's, kind of a fight, procedurally between the house and the senate in a sense that if reid originates
leader mitch mcconnell talking about doing something to keep more than trillion dollars in tax increases and cuts from taking effect next week. also joining that party today, america's happy warrior. vice president joe biden will be there. while some appear ready to compromise others are still ducking, dodging, trying to dump the blame elsewhere. >> we all have our ideas and in the senate, you're right. we probably another 40, 50, 60 of saying that we're ready to both raise revenues and control entitlements. when's the missing ingredient? it is presidential leadership. >> i think in the end we'll get a deal. the question is the timing. >> am hopeful there will be a deal that avoids the worst parts of the fiscal cliff, namely taxes going up on middle class people. >> it's pretty apparent that we are not going to do what we've been called to do. this is 112th congress. we have had two years to deal with quote the fiscal cliff. >> let's bring in our man at the white house, peter alexander standing by. pete, we just got word the president it appears is making some sort of smaller offer at th
we may still be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses in time. senators reid and mcconnell are working on such an agreement as we speak. but, if an agreement isn't reached in time between senator reid and senator mcconnell, then i will urge senator reid to bring to the floor a basic package for an up-or-down vote, one that protects the middle class from an income tax hike, extends the vital lifeline of unemployment insurance to 2 million americans looking for a job, and lays the groundwork for future cooperation of more economic growth and deficit reduction. guys, i can hear you over here. i believe such proposal could pass both houses with bipartisan majorities, as long as those leaders allow it to actually come to a vote. if members of the house or the senate want to vote no, they can. but we should let everybody vote. that is the way this is supposed to work. if can you get a majority in the house, then can you get a majority in the senate, then we should be able to pass a bill. so the american people are watching what we do here. obviously their patience is already thin
automatic tax increases and spending cuts come january 1st. senator harry reid and mitch mcconnell are trying to hammer out a deal the house might approve, but the house is ticking. joining us now are our political strategists. brendan, the president today said is he going to have senator mcconnell, senator reid start off on this package, but doesn't that eliminate a big player in this, which is john boehner, if this has to get passed through the house? >> certainly and he's been talking with the speaker all along. i think he's basically saying the house is really at an impasse. i don't think they can pass it on their own, but if there's a bipartisan deal that senate republicans and senate democrats can pass, the speaker's office indicated they may bring it up in the house even if they only get 1/3 or 1/2 of the republicans, if there are enough democrats, it can pass in the house. that's really been the problem. the speaker wants to bring a bill and get the majority. >> jack, let me ask you, one of the complaints we've heard is that speaker boehner has a policy he does not bring a
. senators reith and mcconnell are working on such an agreement as we speak. but if an agreement isn't reached in time between senator reid and senator mcconnell, then i will urge senator reid to bring to the floor a basic package for an up-or-down vote, one that protects the middle class from an income tax hike, extends the vital lifeline of unemployment insurance to 2 million americans looking for a job and lays the groundwork for future cooperation on more economic growth and definite at this time reduction. guys, i can hear you over here. as long as those leader allow it to actually come to a vote. if members of the house or the in a want to vote no, they can. but we should let everybody vote. that's the way this is supposed to work. if you can get a majority in the house and get a majority in the senate, we should be able to pass a bill. so the american people are watching what we do here. obviously their patience is already thin. this is deja vu all over again. america wonders why it is that in this town for some reason you can't get stuff done in an organized timetable. why ev
still be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses in time. senators reid and mcconnell are working on such an agreement as we speak. but if an agreement isn't reached in time between senator reid and senator mcconnell, then i will urge senator reid to bring to the floor a basic package for an up-or-down vote. one that protects the middle class from an income class hike. one that extends it to 2 million americans looking for a job and lays the groundwork for more economic growth and debt reduction. >> that leads to the insistent park, asking reith who control the senate agenda and has a majority to pass things gets you most of the way through the senate. clearly the president wants mcconnell and the republicans not to filibuster and to be a senate vote, which leads to the most insistent part, the president basically pointing the finger at house speaker john boehner who controls the house and could refuse a vote even if this obama-friendly package passes the senate. he's saying to house republicans, you better let us get not what you want, but something where we can reass
majority leader harry reid and mitch mcconnell on the senate floor. first, an update on where negotiations stand after the meeting between president and congressional leaders at the white house. >> steven dennis joins us from the role call as a white house reporter. stephen, how did the meeting between the president and congressional leaders go? >> i think it was a meeting where they may be set the framework for getting a short- term deal to avert tax increases for most americans, extend unemployment benefits, and maybe take care of a few other small things. at this point, it is a race against the clock and it is up to harry reid and mitch mcconnell and the senate to see if they can have a bipartisan compromise. the president said if he cannot come up with something in the next couple days, he wants harry reid to bring a bill to the floor that would do with the president wants to do, which is tax increases, extend unemployment benefits, etcetera, at least get a vote on it. harry reid has announced that he will prepare that bill and in the meantime he is trying to reach agreement with mccon
afternoon and senate republican leader mitch mcconnell responded. take a listen. >> speaker boehner should call members of the house back to washington today. he shouldn't have let them two in fact. they're not here. they're not here. john boehner seeps to care more about keeping his speakership than about keeping the nation on firm financial footing. >> reporter: there have been all eyes on senator mitch mcconnell, the republican leader, the counterpart to harry reid because he has been pretty quiet early on in the negotiations. was defering speaker boehner to give the republican side. after hearing senator reid yesterday, senator mcconnell fired back. take a listen. >> we're coming up against a hard deadline here and i said, this is a conversation we should had months ago. and republicans aren't about to write a blank check for anything senate democrats put forward just because we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff. >> reporter: now senator mcconnell also said he was disappointed because when he got a call from the president two nights ago right before the president left hawaii to c
and harry reid. republicans mitch mcconnell and john boehner. those four members of congress are expected to make the drive from the capital, which you see on the right, down pennsylvania avenue, to the white house, there on the left. and we expect them to enter through a side door on the west side of the mansion. that's the entrance right there. and they'll meet with the president. in the oval office. beginning, we're told, at 3:00 p.m., less than one hour from now. and just four days ahead of the so-called fiscal cliff. so a very big moment in the nation's capital. and to walk us through what might happen we turn to jessica yellin, a chief white house correspondent. jessica, we said up front, it is a long shot, give us a best case scenario. >> reporter: the best case scenario would be that all the leaders walk out of this meeting and say they have a deal. the two senators say they can bring it to a vote, and none of their members will filibuster it. house speaker john boehner says he will bring it to the house floor for a vote before new year's eve and house minority leader nancy pelosi
. this is spokesperson from senator mitch mcconnell's office. last night the president called senator mcconnell, the first democrat to do so on the fiscal cliff since thanksgiving and other leaders to talk about the need for the senate to act. the leader is happy to review what the president has in mind but to date the senate democrat majority has not put forward a plan. when they do members on both sides of the aisle will review the legislation and make decisions on how to best proceed, end quote. this is a serious back and forth. let's get some perspective. chief congressional correspondent mike emanuel is live for us in washington. a short time ago, another key lawmaker did not sound very optimistic, mike. >> reporter: harris, you would be right. that would be senate majority leader harry reid. seemed kind of irritated that house republicans and all house members are not here in washington trying to work out a deal on the fiscal cliff. here is more from leader reid a short time ago. >> if we go over the cliff and it looks like that's where we're headed, mr. president, the house of representa
listen to senate republican leader mitch mcconnell he basically said yesterday when he got a phone call from the president two nights ago it was the first time he heard from a democrat about the fiscal cliff negotiations, whether the president, senator reid or others in about a month, around thanksgiving. with the democrats not reaching out to senator mcconnell for a month, doesn't seem like they have been pushing very hard for a deal, gregg. gregg: has the bickering between reid and boehner sort of poisoned the negotiations past the point that, you know, maybe this meeting will help at all? >> reporter: it may have because it's really, we've seen tensions escalate ever since before christmas when john boehner was not able to get a deal through the house where he has a very strong republican majority. he had a rebellion amongst some of his fellow conservatives. that is what held it up. senator harry reid as you say was very rough going directly after boehner yesterday. take a listen. >> the american people i don't think understand the house of representatives is operating without the ho
is that the president basically told john boehner and mitch mcconnell the republican leaders in the room here for this meeting that he wants an up or down vote on his scaled back bill to try to avoid this fiscal cliff. and he basically turned on them and said so what's your response? what's your move? the next move is yours. and then i'm told that mitch mcconnell and harry reid, the democratic leader in the senate jumped in before john boehner really got a chance to fully respond and say, look, we will take the ball and try to pass a bipartisan bill in the senate. the president responded by saying i will give you a day or two but we're running out of time. if you don't get it done in the senate. i want an up or down vote. then he came out and addressed reporters in the briefing room it is clear that the president is only cautiously optimistic that this is going to take a look. take a listen. >> it if there are disagreements they sort through the disagreements. the notion that our elected leadership can't do the same thing is mind boggling to them. it needs to stop. i'm moderately optimistic t
then what we've been hearing from republicans, particularly mitch mcconnell's office is we can't talk about whether we can pass anything until we actually see the legislation. so our understanding from these sources who are familiar with the call and familiar with the process is that the president will put the plan in legislate lative language. what is the plan? the president's tax plan he campaigned on for five years which is to let the tax plan expire for households making less than $250,000. he would add unemployment insurance. the thinking here is he would potentially also add extending the estate tax cut. the estate tax has been at a relatively low level. it expires also at the ipd of the year. but, you know, this is all you know, to'ing and fro'ing right now to see if it's possible to pass anything to keep most americans' taxes where they are before the end of the year when everybody's tax go up. >> we heard from senator reid earlier today. they were dealing, in his words, with a dictatorship. are we expected to hear from him or any of the players from the hill in terms of trying to m
-mart is going to sell but how mitch mcconnell and president are going to do in the future. so it's causing people to pull back from making investments and that is what powers the economy in the long run. >> arthel: here is a question. we all paid those higher taxes when president clinton was in office and everybody seemed to be doing well. so what is different now? the same people paying higher taxes then, why are they reluctant now. they feel the government doesn't know what to do with the money? >> we know what they do with the money, they waste a tremendous amount of it. to president clinton's credit those tax hikes came within the environment of deregulation, rules were cut back and we have the opposite going on right now. consumers elect to go spend but consumers are reluctant and producers are going up and regulatory costs makes it hard to make a buck in this type of environment. >> arthel: all right. happy new year. thank you so much. >> secretary of state hillary clinton is returning to the state department next week after three weeks off from a stomach virus and concussion that ke
news. >>> an agreement to the fiscal cliff now appears up to mitch mcconnel and harry reed. while the president said the meeting was constructive he added if congress can't reach a deal he will ask senator reed to at least propose a basic package. >> one that protects the middle class from an income tax hike, extends the vital lifeline of unemployment insurance to 2 million americans looking for a job. and lays the ground work for future corporation by more economic growth and deficit reduction. >>> with no agreement on the fiscal cliff extended unemployment benefits expire tomorrow for 24,000 unemployed californians. one woman says she's been out of work for two years. she said if it weren't for the long term unemployment benefits she doesn't know how she would get by. >> not being able to put food on table. not being able to pay my bills. >> those individuals and families are on their own to figure out how they're going to have an income until they have go on and have a job again. >> reporter: 1.2 million americans could lose their extended unemployment benefits nationwide. >>>
of six attending. vice president biden, harry reid, house minority leader nancy pelosi, mitch mcconnell and john boehner representing the republicans. brianna keilar is live from washington. is anybody optimistic that a deal could be done today around a table? >> i will tell you the optimism is sort of sinking. senate majority leader harry reid said he doesn't see how it can get done by january 1st. we heard from president obama before he left from his vacation that he was optimistic. logistically the white house will tell you it's possible. when you listen to what you're hearing some of these congressional leaders say, there's a lot of posturing laying blame to the other side if we do go over the cliff. take a listen. >> republicans are not about to write a blank check for anything senate democrats put forward because we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff. >> we are here in washington working while the members of the house of representatives are out watching movies, watching their kids play soccer, basketball, doing all kinds of things. they should be here. >> now, house speaker j
leads are harry reid on mitch mcconnell to work out a deal on then present it to the house. he also laid out a scaled down mini deal if they are can't manage it. >> if we don't see an agreement between the two leaders in the senate, i expect a bill to go on the floor, i asked senator reid to do this, put a bill on the floor that makes sure that taxes on middle class families don't go up, that unemployment is still available for 2 million people on that lays the groundwork for additional deficit reduction on economic growth steps that we can take in the new year but let's not miss this deadline. >> as for the two senate leaders, they spoke shortly after the meeting on sounded a bit more hopeful than the president. >> i think it was a very positive meeting. there was not a lot of hilarity in the meeting. everyone knows how important it is. it's a very serious meeting on it took an extended period of time, as you all know waiting for us. >> mr. president, i would just add -- i share the view of the majority leader, we had a good meeting down at the white house. we are engaged in discussion,
forward a plan. late today, mcconnell expressed frustration. >> this is a conversation we should have had months ago. republicans aren't about to write a blank check or anything that senate democrats put forward just because we find ourselves at the essential. >> asked if he was going over the cliff, biden joked cliff? what cliff? this has been operated with a dictatorship of the speaker. not allowing the vast majority of the representatives to get what they want. they want them to return in case a deal is in the final hours. today, the u.s. is heading over the cliff. >> what goes away next week is the bush tax cut that they loathed since they went in place a secon decade ago. don't assume the president wants to cut a deal. he wants to see if he'll be blamed for it before they negotiate. they talk about the meeting tomorrow with the president and key congressional leaders. >> thank you. if the fiscal cliff can be avoided there is another gigantic hurdle awaiting the lawmakers. >> they will hit the credit limit of $16.4 trillion on december 31. the nation thereafter can't pay the bills unl
. the president, john boehner, nancy pelosi, harry reid, mcconnell, you don't need his support because the democrat controlled center. it is a sit doesn't have a -- >> mcconnell is very important because in the senate, you need a super majority to pass. a reason why i think if there's some kind of a deal, and i'm not that optimistic, why it has to start in the senate is you need republicans to buy in, even a little bit, in order to send any measure to the house. so by definition, to get 60 votes, you need republicans on it. that's enough to call whatever the deal is, bipartisan, which may make it easier on the house. as i said, i'm not that optimistic. >> trace: why are you not optimistic? >> part of it is structurele. house members got back at 6:30 sunday night. what if the bad weather comes that's predicted. unless a framework is hammered out that people could agree to, even a stopgap measure, there's not a lot of hours left to get everything down. a realistic deadline is january 3, none, when the new congress comes in because as we just heard, the impact of the fiscal cliff in terms
, perhaps mitch mcconnell's involved in this, as well. so when we look at this, david, who's pulling the strings now? who will sit down and make the deal happen? >> there's eyes on mitch mcconnell. he's been influential in past debt negotiations. a year and a half ago in sort of coming up with something that his fellow republicans would like and i think the question is, though, as meredith said, john boehner doesn't seem to have full control of his caucus and looking at the house, is boehner comfortable with moving something with a majority of democratic support and some republican support to put it over the threshold. looks like there's a lot of shifting going on about who to blame going over the cliff and probably not a good sign because they're setting up who to blame and might be an inkling to come. >> the votes not on the side of boehner last week, meredith, if there's a bipartisan deal out of the senate, will those who were not for john boehner's plan "b" then agree with a bipartisan bill coming over from the senate? >> does it matter? if you look at the bipartisan agreement th
're shifting negotiation tactics now to a group of two. two senators, mitch mcconnell and harry reid, the two party leaders in the senate, are going to be trying to find a way to get a deal today. we know their staff is talking. we don't expect actually any necessary meetings between those two leaders right away today. we think that their chiefs of staff are going to be on the phone, via e-mail. this reported from our producer, ted barrett. perhaps tonight they'll see if the leaders can sit down and get together something to present to their various caucuses. now as i said, it was silent until yesterday. then we heard many people speaking. again, we heard from president obama this morning talking about how important it is to try and get a deal done this week. >> you meet your deadlines, your responsibilities every single day. the folks you sent here to serve should do the same. we cannot let washington politics get in the way of america's progress. we've got to do what it takes to protect the middle class, grow this economy, and move our country forward. >> that was the president's weekly add
? there is a lot of buzz on capitol hill. mitch mcconnell, who will be attending a white house meeting told us a few moments ago that we are always the running out of time. chairman max baucus, the democrat says that he thinks this will fiscal cliff matter comes down as one white house meeting two hours from now. another top senate republican said a short time ago that he was calling on president obama to lead. >> the president is not a senator anymore. he's a president. just as president reagan worked to deal with tip o'neill and bill clinton and president eisenhower, we need leadership on not just taxing rich people, but we contact them and it wouldn't help the medicare fiscal cliff. greg: others are skeptical, noting that high-profile meetings are for show often times and all about tactics. we expect the president will try a stopgap measure extending middle-class tax rates, extending unemployment benefits for some 2 million americans, do some small spending cuts now, but not entitlement reform. an ally of the white house and the house of representatives offered this. >> this is not for show
sign talking to one another and not to reporters. senate majority leader harry reid and mitch mcconnell asked president obama and other congressional leaders to give them time to work on a compromise deal, recognizing time is running out. again today, the president emphasized the need for action. >> and congress can prehave not it from happening if they act now. leaders in congress are working on a way to prevent this tax hike on the middle class and i believe we may be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses in time. >> we are told conversations are taking place. meanwhile, house republicans are due to meet tomorrow evening. it was originally scheduled for monday morning. it's not clear if they'll have the details of a deal, but the thinking seems to be getting everybody together sooner than later. >> kelly: i remember the president on friday saying that we've got to get this done and president obama, however, you go back to the campaign, had been campaigning on asking upper income americans pay more. how is that likely to play out right now? >> you're right. president oba
pelosi, john boehner, mitch mcconnell and harry reid to the white house this afternoon for a "fiscal cliff" summit. >> here we are five days from the new year, and we might finally start talking. >> reporter: today's white house meeting might be the last chance to come to an agreement. that's because it takes time for a bill to work its way through both chambers of congress. >> i don't know time-wise how it can happen now. >> reporter: under senate rules the only way a bill could make its way through the procedure hurdles in time is if every senator agrees not to slow the progress. the house will be back here sunday night giving them just more than 24 hours to vote on any bill the senate works out. outside the beltway, carlino will be watching. >> everybody's kind of in a wait-and-see and fingers crossed perspective right now. >> reporter: since 1930, this is only the fifth time congress has worked after christmas. tara mergener for cbs news, washington. >>> today's meeting will be the first time president obama and all four leaders of the house and senate have met in person since no
pelosi, senate minority leader mitch mcconnell and house speaker john boehner. they have only four days to reach an agreement or the u.s. economy will go off the so- called "fiscal cliff." that's when automatic spending increases and cuts would take effect. reaching a deal won't be easy because both sides are involved in a high stakes political blame game. >> we are here in washington working while the members of the house of representatives are out watching movies and watching the kids play soccer and basketball and doing all kinds of things. they should be here. >> i told the president we would be happy to look at wah he proposes but the truth is we are coming up against a hard deadline and as i said this is a conversation we should have had months ago. >> reporter: democrats want to extend the bush-era tax cuts to everyone except those americans making $250,000 or more a year. many republicans are against any tax increases. most americans just want something to be done. >> people are just tired of partisanship and they want everyone to come together. >> reporter: if lawmakers don't r
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